Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The calm before the storm

Quite literally the calm before the storm! I met with Mike for some exploring of the river with nymphs on Saturday morning. We had the first cold snap of the Autumn and there was a fantastic mist lying over the fields.

A fine, mist filled morning

It was to be a day for long rods, light lines and some heavy bugs and the 10' #2 was my choice. The river was running clear and the water was cool. It was likely to take a while for the fish to really turn on. Nymphs trundled acorss the bottom would be essential for success.

Mike runs the nymphs through some inviting water

Quickly the air temperature rose, as did a few fish. Switching to the dry fly though resulted in a regular riser being spooked in the clear water.

Slower water saw some fish rising

Eventually we moved up into the middle of the beat where faster water predominated and it wasn't long before I started to connect with some grayling. Mike was working the nymphs with the long rod through some very good looking water. Soon he was feeling the stubborn pull of a handsome brown trout:

A handsome brown trout for Mike

We left the water, levels dropping and crystal clear. 24 hours later and it was a different story. Torrential rain brought the river up to levels I have never experienced. A reminder that the river, indeed any water, demands respect.

A flooded River Chew, just a few hundred yards from home

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Returning favours

I have already expressed my exctiement about the wet summer allowing us a very productive back end and, indeed, the river does look good. Therefore, I find it strange that I'd like just a little bit of rain to pick up the levels. You'd have thought I'd had enough of the stuff. Perhaps with the cooler mornings and the strengthening breeze, my thoughts are turning to Autumn. Certainly my thoughts are turning to grayling. Although September is amongst my favourite fishing months and it's no coincidence that it heralds some of my biggest brown trout. I still have every hope of some more cracking wild fish before the trout season ends.

Today I was meeting up with Mark, an excellent angler, and the person who had first introduced me to a favourite (and very much visited) stretch of river. My turn perhaps to pay back the favour as I introduced him to some techniques to get the most out of the season's back end and the joy that is the grayling season.

Before he arrived, I couldn't help but get to work running the nymphs through some very good looking water. Despite careful wading, my first sighting of a fish was darting for cover amongst a plume of silt. A reminder that the river is at its lowest since May (now there's a sentence I didn't think I'd write!).

Not long though, and the first trout came bouncing to hand.

A small, but welcome brown trout

Working my way through the likely runs and seams, a better brownie took a nymph with gusto and put up a spirited fight before gracing the net.

A better fish, fighting much more than its size suggested

I was also really pleased to make contact with a grayling. Not a big fish, but the rumours are that they are showing themselves which is a good sign for the coming winter. They have been elusive this Summer.

A grayling from some slower, deeper water

Every trip, you learn something new or experience something new. Now, I don't know what this is... On a fence post was a huge gathering of black ants (big ones too!) and they were all dead and apparently stuck together. Anyone have any ideas? My only thoughts were that, perhaps they had been attracted to the new post's sap and had met a rather sticky end? Well it sounds plausible to me...
The Black Ant mystery...

 Mark worked his way through some very productive water and really got to grips with some new techniques. I love fishing, but thoroughly enjoy watching others. The joy of guiding I suppose is watching others make contact with fish and really enjoying their fishing too.

Mark, running the nymphs skillfully along a foam line

Mark unhooks a fish that fell to the nymph

The wind picked up and made good presentation a little more challenging. No worries though; job done.

Guided days and casting tuition is available at the River Fly Box


Thursday, 13 September 2012

River Fly Box - Now on Facebook!

I am pleased to announce that River Fly Box now has a Facebook page where I can update with pictures and videos, in addition to the blog. Please take a look and 'Like' the page:

River Fly Box on Facebook

A reminder that you can also follow my ramblings on Twitter.

Thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you enjoy these links too.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Boiling Water

We have had a week of steady pressure and dry weather which has left the rivers looking at their best. However, it was an early start on the lake today, meeting Ben and Fraser who were joining me for some casting tuition before heading further North to tackle some feisty fish at a Gloucestershire fishery.

A beautiful place anyway, the morning mist seems to make the countryside even more special. It was very pleasing to see a few immediate bow waves and rises upon arriving at the lake. It seems this was just a taster; as the morning progressed, the fish increased in activity. Fish were boiling all over lake.

Well done to Fraser who grasped fly casting really well, finding his feet and making some beautiful casts. Ben found some action amongst the hatching damsels:

Well done guys! I look forward to the next time.

Casting tuition and guided trips (river and stillwater) is available at The River Fly Box


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Thanks to a healthy flow

Looking back at last September's blog posts, the rivers were low and the fish highly cautious. How different this year to see the rivers flowing with a healthy push, solid weed growth and of course often coloured! It's the colour that will make the difference and whilst a tinted river often put people off, it can really give the confidence to feed.

Spotting speckled backs and flitting fins amongst shallower runs really gets the heart racing...

A decent fish in a shallow run, feeding on nymphs

To opoen my September account, it was again the rather unusual 9'6" 1 weight Maxia rod that was my choice. A couple of small nymphs worked through the likely looking runs produced several fish quickly.

Indeed, the stained water coninciding with dusk can produce some impressive 'small stream' trout:

Falling for a pink-tagged nymph, this beauty gave a stunning account of itself

I am looking forward to these healthy flows continuing right into the back end of the season!